Essex Witty / Wittey update.

For those who are tracing their Yorkshire ancestors with a surname beginning with the letters 'S' through 'Z'
venelow
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: Essex Witty / Wittey update.

Post by venelow » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:59 pm

Hi Brian

Thanks for your response. I just spent sometime composing an answer but when I tried to send it something went wrong. It told me I had to be logged in even though I was logged in according to the note on the screen and the whole message disappeared. I will try again tomorrow.

Venelow
Canada

venelow
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: Essex Witty / Wittey update.

Post by venelow » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:23 pm

Hi Brian
Thank you for your response.

I don’t have any doubt about Mary Newlove marrying John Wittie. She is mentioned in the Will of her father William Newlove of Battlebourne 1614 as Mary Whittye my daughter along with my son in law John Whittye and grand children Richard, John Christopher, Jayne and Dinah.

In 1601 William’s son John Newlove married Elizabeth Wittye at Kirkburn. It seems her brother John Witty married John Newlove’s sister Mary a little before that date.

However it is the assertion that John Wittie and Mary Newlove owned farms in Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire that I want to know about.

I am assuming evidence has been found (Deeds? Leases?) that a man call John Wittie with a wife called Mary owned or leased farms in two counties in a time frame that would be consistent with a man born about 1555 - 1560. Would not John’s Administration have been assessed in the Prerogative Court if it was case that he owned property in more that one County?

Mary Witty nee Newlove’s Will does not give the impression that the family was very well off. There is no mention of property or land owned or leased. Her legacies are modest. She has servants (possibly farm servants) and a maid but they only get twelve pence each. The poor of the parish get twenty shillings to be paid in installments. Her sons receive five pounds.

The children are all minors. Richard seems to be the eldest son. He was baptized in 1601 at Kirkburn. Possibly Jane was the eldest child. Mary gives the four younger children into the care of three relatives and one person whose relationship is not stated. Roger the youngest was born after 1614 as he is not mentioned in William Newlove’s Will.

Most researchers state that John Wittie’s father was Richard and his mother was called Jane. Jane’s Will written on May 18 1617 confirms she is the mother of John, Elizabeth, William and Dinah.

Jane states she has two farms in Tibthorp “which I hath bought”. I think this means she bought long term Leases on the farms that can be willed to heirs. The farms are rented out to John Harrison and Richard Tenny. Jane wills one farm to her widowed daughter Elizabeth Newlove and the other to her grandson Richard son of John.
The rest of the legacies are fairly modest and all the grand children seem to be under the age of 21.

The surprise in Jane’s Will is that she has another son from a previous marriage called Peter Rogerson and he gets the rest and remainder of her estate and is made Executor.

I have not seen the Will of Richard Wittie, husbandman of Eastburne (parish of Kirkburn) which was written on 19 Jan 1588/9 the probate being October 1589.

There is a Tithe Case* in the Cause Papers online on the Borthwick Institute site that has a witness described as Richard Witty, husbandman of Kirkburn aged 33 years. The date is 1586.

If this is the same Richard he would have been born about 1553 and died when he was about 35 years old. In that case his son John is more likely to have been born about 1578 than 1558 and probably married about 1599.

It appears that the John Witty of Yorkshire and Cambridge may not be the son of Richard and Jane.

Comments and further information welcomed.

Venelow
Canada

* Ref: CP.G 2459

brianmulhall
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:15 pm

Re: Essex Witty / Wittey update.

Post by brianmulhall » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:50 pm

Thanks, venelow, for your extensive response. It will take some thought to fit it all into the family tree I have constructed, but here are a few immediate thoughts.

First, although I did not really doubt that John Witty had married Mary Newlove there had to remain a little uncertainty because the Parish Records where it would have been recorded seem to be missing. My interest was in the Witty family, having traced back from a much more recent Witty, so I did not think to look at the Newlove Will, but that does seem to be pretty conclusive. I do, however, have a copy of the Probate of the Will of Richard Witty in 1589 - rather frustratingly he mentions his 4 children, though only 3 by name, John, Dinah & Elizabeth, and does not indicate the marital status of the daughters, as well as mentioning his wife, without actually naming her!

The Kirkburn Registers available seem to start in 1601, though are not continuous from then. They do, for example, have a marriage of Dionis Sigston to Thomas Chapman on July 8 1604. There is a burial of John Sigston on 18 December 1603. I think - need to check this out - that Dionis Sigston had been born a Witty. The baptisms of John Witty's children include Richard, 29 June 1601, John, 22 April 1604 and Dinas, 21 December 1605. There was the baptism of Robert Sigston, son of John, 31 August 1603.

On the question of Jane Witty's Will, I agree that it is clear that she had been married before she married Richard Witty. I had transcribed her husband's name as Peter Rogerson - it is difficult to read, but I have just had another look at my copy of the Will and now prefer Rochester. Unfortunately there seem to be no Parish Registers surviving which record the marriage of death of Peter, which would give a different handwriting to decipher!

As for the question which most interests you, the possible connection between the Witty families in Cambridgeshire and East Yorkshire, I can add nothing. That is John Witty's work and, though he and I have corresponded and exchanged information, it must be left to him to elaborate on what is a truly mammoth task.

Brian

venelow
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: Essex Witty / Wittey update.

Post by venelow » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:27 pm

Hi Brian

Thank you for your response. I have taken a second look at the Executor named in Jane Witty's Will and agree that it is Rochester rather than Rogerston or Rogerson. I had had no luck in finding a Peter Rogerson but a likely candidate is a Peter Rochester who was having children baptized at Holme on Spalding Moor in the 1630s. According to the Will Register he died there in 1637 but unfortunately intestate.

Regarding the Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire connection, I agree it is John Witty's project to solve. I was only trying to bring to the attention of Witty researchers that there is a possibility that Richard Witty and therefore his children are younger than most Witty researchers have estimated.

If Richard was born about 1553 then his son John cannot have been born in 1558. I mentioned John Witty's Cambridgeshire farmer only because he stated that person was married to Mary Newlove and any evidence he has regarding the dates at which the property was owned might lead to a re-evaluation of who that John was married to.

However, all I can do is put the information I found out there and let Witty researchers decide for themselves. The Cause Papers are an interesting resource. Having made a database of the names of the individuals mentioned in these court cases, the Borthwick Institute is now making the original documents available on line. This is not a resource genealogists, professional or not, would have readily thought of in the past. It would take hours of trawling through the cases, often in Latin, on the off chance of finding information on a subject. In some cases the information is very informative even stating relationships between various witnesses.

Good Luck to all Witty researchers out there.

Venelow
Canada

brianmulhall
Posts: 107
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:15 pm

Re: Essex Witty / Wittey update.

Post by brianmulhall » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:05 pm

Thanks, venetlow, for this and your many other contributions via our off-forum exchange of copies of some of these old Wills. If I summarise what I have there is little solid evidence for Richard Witty dying young in 1589, but the circumstances seem to point that way. In Richard’s Will there is no mention of the age of his children, nor whether they were married or had children of their own, but they are named, viz. Elizabeth, John, Dinah and William. However, he did appoint two Supervisors, apparently to ensure that his wife and children obtained their rights; one was his brother, John Witty, and one his brother (I suppose, in-law) Christopher Headley. The latter appears later as Churchwarden in Kirkburn, in 1605 and 1606 (many records are missing, so he could have occupied such a position in other years). Richard’s wife, Jane, was named as relict in the probate copy of the Will; she appears not to have remarried, but died in 1617, also leaving a Will. There is no record of her age at death, but 70 would have been good then. Another puzzle is that some genealogies of the family include a further son, Edward, but he is not mentioned in any of the Wills I have seen.

Jane’s Will confirms the four children, as well as giving information about their marital history and their children. In addition, it shows that Jane had been a widow, with a son, when she married Richard, for she makes her son, Peter Rochester, her executor. Elizabeth had married John Newlove and in 1617 had 3 sons and 2 daughters. John had married Mary Newlove, as confirmed by the 1614 Will of Mary’s father, William; one of John & Mary’s sons, Roger, is not mentioned in his grandfather’s Will, so we may suppose he was born in about 1615 or 1616. Dinah had been married twice; her first husband, John Sigston, with whom she had 2 children, was buried in 1603, after which she married Thomas Chapman in 1604 and had at least one further child. William also had 2 children.

Mary Witty (nee Newlove) had written a Will dated 12 February 1616/17. She named 4 sons and 2 daughters, all minors except, possibly, Richard, for she specified which relative should have responsibility for which child. Her husband, John Witty had died shortly before - presumably unexpectedly for he left no Will. The document of Probate is, unfortunately, in Latin and I have still to decipher it, but it clearly includes arrangements (tuitions) for children who were minors. In any case, the baptisms of Richard, 1601, John, 1604, and Diana, 1605, are recorded in the Kirkburn Registers (before 1601 and 1607 to 1625 inclusive are missing). It may be that Richard was the eldest, even though only 15, and had to take on adult responsibilities; this is reinforced by his legacy in his Aunt Jane’s Will. One puzzling phrase occurs in Mary Witty’s Will; she writes of her 4 sons, Richard, John, Christopher and Roger, but later, where she is directing who is to be responsible for her children, she writes “ Itm I give to my sonn John Witty to my sonn William Witty wth all theire legacies and portons duringe theire minoritie”. I wonder if this is a clerical error and that William is her brother, who was probably also the
William Witty who witnessed the Will.

On ages this, to me, leaves us with John Witty probably having married Mary Newlove in about 1595 - 1600 and both
probably having been born in about 1565 - 1575. I do not suppose the other children of Richard Witty were greatly different in age, so I would then guess Richard and Jane to have been born about 1540 - 1550 and to have married about 1565 - 1570. This is a little later than is often stated, but I have seen no evidence other than that quoted here and the Tiithe Case, which puts Richard as born in about 1553.

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